045: Fire From Above: Christian Contemplation & Mystical Wisdom

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard
The Art of Catholic with Matthew Leonard

catholic_FINAL_150God didn’t just create you…He thirsts for you! His heart is bursting with love for you! Yes, you!

That is the underlying message of the mystics.

It’s also the underlying message of one of the best spiritual theologians in the United States. Dr. Anthony Lilles, Academic Dean at St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles can illuminate and discuss the interior life unlike anyone else I’ve heard or met. (You might remember him from episode 3.)9781622823352

His new book is Fire From Above: Christian Contemplation and Mystical Wisdom…and it’s awesome.

He is so steeped in the rich mystical tradition of spiritual giants like John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, that the power of their message almost bursts out of him.

To be perfectly honest, I had something totally different in mind when I contacted Anthony to come on show. But then the Holy Spirit took over. Here’s where He led the conversation:

  • The mystical relationship between martyrdom and contemplation 605f1b7eca2d43256c79cdcaffb95054(inspired by the 21 young men martyred by Islamic militants in Libya)
  • A deeper look into the mystical definition of contemplation
  • The 3 essential elements of humanity every spirituality has to deal with (but only Christianity does)
  • How forgiveness and the wounds of sin are related to contemplative prayer
  • Why the Blessed Virgin is a key to a deep life of contemplation

This is one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve ever had on the show because it cuts right to the heart of what the mystical life is all about.

It cuts to the heart of what our life is meant to be!

Enjoy and God bless!


8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover ImageP.S. Don’t just listen to us talk about it. Do it! Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! It’s an easy step-by-step guide to help you rocket to God!




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7 Responses

  1. I was blessed to have Dr. Lilles as professor for several courses with Avila Institute. He is an amazing teacher, one of those few who impacts his students not only with words but by example. Dr. Lilles lives the Gospel. I look forward to reading his latest book.

  2. What led me too the Catholic Church is mystical experiences. I been asked several times why I don’t write a book. Well, I ain’t no writer and I ain’t no artist or I would draw you a perfect picture of Our Lord. Nice interview. Enjoy your series.

  3. Matthew – great podcast and you’re right – Fire From Above is a beautiful book and it does set one’s heart on fire with love for God and a desire to enter into intimate prayer with our Creator. This podcast did set a fire simmering in my heart drawing me to prayer. Thanks so much to you and to Anthony Lilles!

    1. It was a fun show to record. I was getting worked up just listening to him. Thanks, Amanda!

  4. Dear Matthew,
    This comment is a general one, that is, it’s meant to apply to all your presentations rather than to just a particular one. It takes the form of a request. Would you consider referring to your presentations as just that, or as something similar to that? For example, you might say “on today’s presentation…,” or else “on today’s program…” When you use the word “show,” it activates all sorts of images from Ed Sullivan and Carmen Miranda to some current heavy metal group. It distracts, to some degree, however small, from Jesus the preacher and points the mind, for a moment, to (fill in the blank), entertainer extraordinaire.

    Thank you,
    Lawrence P. McGowan

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